As we have noted before, Windows Phone is getting a boost from Nokia’s decision to push it hard at the cheaper end of the market — the $170 Nokia Lumia 520, introduced this year, seems to have been particularly popular. And that boost seems to be showing up clearly in Europe, according to analysts at Kantar Worldpanel.
Kantar’s latest figures, covering the three months to August and released this week, show Windows Phone is now approaching a 10 percent smartphone sales share in the 5 biggest European markets, namely the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The platform has an average 9.2 percent market share across those markets, up from 5.1 percent a year back, with 10.8 percent in France and 12 percent in the UK.
Android, of course, is well in the lead with a 70.1 percent share in the key EU markets. Apple’s iOS is also healthily ahead of Windows Phone with a 16.1 percent share – although iOS’s share of sales falls drastically if you look at certain specific countries. In recession-hit Spain, for example, Android has a 90.8 percent share, leaving the rest to pick up the crumbs (iOS has 5.3 percent and Windows Phone 2.2 percent).
And while iOS has a good 27.5 percent share of the British market, up from 21.4 percent a year ago, the figure is down from 11.1 percent to just 9.5 percent in Germany, where Windows Phone – up from a 3.8 percent share last year to an 8.8 percent share this year – may actually outsell Apple soon.
Now compare all this to the U.S., where Android’s share is down from 60.7 percent to 55.1 percent year-on-year, Apple’s up from 33.9 percent to 39.3 percent, and Windows Phone up but still barely significant, going from 2.6 percent to 3 percent.
These are clearly very different markets, and the disparities between the U.S. and Europe should definitely be borne in mind by developers targeting one region over the other.